Music video - Cushions by Tommy and the Fallen Horses at

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Old November 12th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #1
Music video - Cushions by Tommy and the Fallen Horses
Luke Frater Luke Frater is offline November 12th, 2009, 04:49 PM

Shot this on the 5D a few months back, my music video directorial debut, am still learning alot about cinematography and shooting but having worked on a couple of music videos during the last year has really helped me.

is tough work being director, DOP and producer all-in-one though!! still, for a two person crew i think we did pretty well.

any thoughts/criticism is appreciated.

Luke Frater
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Old November 12th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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It's an admirable effort.

It's been said that the difference between good editing and bad editing is just a few frames. Your edits should be on the action, not shortly before or after the action. Walter Murch (google him, buy his book) calls it "on the blink". It's a hell of a concept to try and absorb, but once you've got it, it will make you a sought after editor.

You lighting (particularly in the shrink's office) is great, but it's flat. Really flat. And it looks "lit". It should look natural. First-time shooters think that shadows are your enemy. Not true.

Try sequencing your shots. Wide, medium, tight, medium, wide. Stories are told in the wide shots and the tight shots. Medium shots just get you from place to place. Your video is full of medium shots.

Your main character is an actor in need of a coach. Sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. I can't really tell if the song is supposed to be a parody (aka funny) or serious. He gets this "Weird Al" look on his face sometimes.

You cross the axis a couple of times.

But, despite all of that, it was pretty good, especially for someone who has not done this a long time. Great job!
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Old November 13th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #3
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Mike's got a lot of good points.

I liked your video. Thoroughly watchable. Good show on that. Much better than I've done lately. Just getting out there and shooting and editing, that's fantastic. And your results are something to be proud of.

As far as story-telling goes, I also had a problem with him saying, "Your house..." to the shrink.
It might have been more interesting if you had been able to move the story into the "Ex's" house at that point. Have your actor being a "ghost" to her. Or talking to the outside of a house. Or have him talking to a photo of her (in the shrink's office, whatever). Anything to not give the illusion that "your house" was the doc's.

Besides what Mike said, I found the lighting inconsistent throughout. And the CC/grading was equally uneven. You go from the very blue shots in the car to some wonderfully colored shots of people chiming in on the chorus. I was really thinking his world was brightening up at that point. I thought you were using color to change the mood of your story, but you kept coming back to that blue shot, so maybe it was just inconsistent CCing.

It's too easy to tear things apart after they're done. I know I do it to my own work all the time; "WHAT WAS I THINKING!? WHY DIDN'T I..." etc. So I could do that with your work too, but the bottom line is, you have a nice finished product, and you and the talent should be pleased.
We all try to do even better Next Time.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 04:22 PM   #4
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Hey Mike, and Matthew,

really appreciate your honesty and criticism, its really nice to be able to post this and get honest feedback. I would agree that the tone of the video is off, it is meant to be very lighthearted and comical, but it does seem to come across as a bit more serious at moments of it.

as for the lighting, its funny because when we just had the house lights on i loved the way the image looked, and then after lighting the scene it of course looked very lit, and i knew i didnt like it as much but we didnt have the time to play with it more....i guess that's just about experience though, learning how to recreate lighting setups.

thanks for the editing tips Mike, while editing was once my passion (and how i got into film/video wok) i really feel it just provides a means to an end for me now, i really should find someone to edit for me. As i really enjoy the time on set and come the edit i tnd to find myself bored....not a good sign.

as for the grading, it was a tough two day guerilla style shoot with hugely variable my goal for the grade was just to try and keep it consistent. the pedestrians shots were meant to be saturated and vibrant (compared to the in car shots) but this wasn't as successful as i had hoped, as i changed the 5D's settings to shoot flat, and come edit time it was very hard to over saturate the image....definitely something to learn from.

and Mike, haha, i totally agree the main actor (tommy) could use a coach for his scenes (although i did find him quite effective in a few shots) , but when you're a broke student and your just out of film school and a musician comes at you with a decent payday and a small budget you do have to make some sacrifices and let him have his way haha :D

thanks again for the comments guys, appreciated.
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